Learning from the Fourth

Good morning from Westminster, MD!

In the United States of America, this Thursday, July 4th, marks a very important day in history, Independence Day.  The Fourth of July has always been an important day in my mind, but its significance is even more profound now that I spend the majority of my time in a different country.  The fact that the day is as much recognized as a day for cookouts and fireworks as it is a day to reflect on the ideals of our country speaks to the incredible freedoms we enjoy.  I, for one, am thankful for those freedoms.

It is remarkable to think that on July 4th, 1776 the United States was more of a dream than a reality.  When independence was declared there was no guarantee that that it would actually occur, much less that the United States of America would become a nation to which people would flock to find and build a better life.  Have you ever considered the gravity of that?  Many people risked and gave their lives because they believed in a better future, not only for themselves but for the generations that would follow.  And here I am today, enjoying the fruits of their labor and the labor of many who came after them to defend that dream.  I am truly thankful that they believed in that vision and I hope that I can be a part of ensuring that it does not die.

Reflecting on all of that gives me hope for the future.  It gives me hope that the vision we believe God has given us for the work we are doing in Nicaragua can become a reality.  It gives me hope that we the people can make a difference in this world if we believe in a better future.  It gives me hope that dreams do become realities.  

For this to be true, however, it takes a lot of work and commitment.  In a world where most things are at our finger tips, this can be a foreign concept.  We, like those who have come before us, need to decide that our dreams are worth it, no matter the cost.  This Fourth of July, I hope we can all reflect on what it took for the United States of America to become the United States of America.  I hope we can also consider what we can learn from those who fought for the independence we are celebrating.  Maybe, just maybe, we can build a better future if we believe like they did.

Happy Fourth of July!

– James Belt    


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